Monday, September 21, 2009

Handicap Accessible Hiking

So here is the story about our "hike". We had originally hoped to go horseback riding, but I was never able to get ahold of the people with horses, so we'll have to try that another time. We decided we'd just go on a walk in the morning before returning home (to my baby... I think she grew two inches while I was gone.)

This park is 3,200 acres (square acres?) so it's a pretty good size, and we figured we'd be able to find a trail for a nice walk. We had a little map, but it was terrible, so Devin said he would scout for trails on his morning run. He came back a little discouraged, and said that all of the trails (as far as he could tell) just seemed to start at random, without anywhere to park, so we'd have to leave the truck at the campsite and walk to one of the trails, and by that point as we all know from my story about the showers I would pretty much be done for walking! But he said he did see a sign that had an arrow and the symbol for handicap, with the label trail, and he was guessing that that meant a handicap accessible trail, which we hoped would mean a parking lot.

So we drove to where the arrow pointed, and lo and behold, there was a parking lot, and what looked like the beginning of a trail! Excellent. There were even "toilets", which was essential for me (even though I had just gone at the campground... ten minutes previously. Pregnancy, I tell ya, it's somethin' else.) So, I make a quick stop there (and trust me, you want it to be as quick as possible... I'm always uncomfortable wondering what exactly is down that deep dark hole) and we headed off to the "trail" for "handicapped" people.

I put those words in quotations because I quickly came to the conclusion that they were used rather loosely. I barely considered the trail "pregnant woman" accesible, and couldn't imagine that anyone that had a walking impairment that required them a close parking spot would be able to handle it. For example, the trail was approximately 8 inches wide, so wheelchairs are immediately out. That leaves those that can walk, but maybe need some assistance, or not very far. Then there were all the fallen down trees that were strewn across the path that had to be stepped over. (I think there were four of these.) Then, there was the crazy uphill and downhill, that I made Devin help me with. (It was really steep, and there were no rocks or anything, it was just loose dirt... and I'm rocky on my balance at the best of times... I did not want to subject this baby to plummeting down a hill where the nearest emergency phone is four miles away at a Casey's convenience store - I read the sign.) So we inched down that and I'm thinking "Seriously, this trail is barely manageable for a healthy person, what kind of a sicko advertises this as being a good trail for people with handicaps?" And I'm considering writing a letter to my congressman when I notice for the first time the tracks in the dirt.

Yeah, beautiful little horseshoe prints all over the place. This is the one trail in the park that the horses use when people want to go horseback riding. The very trail we would have been on, had the people called me back. I don't know for a fact, but I'm pretty certain that if a handicapped person wanted to explore a trail in a state park, they'd be able to on horseback (more so than would be otherwise). I became sure that I was right when the trail ended at a shallow river, starting again on the bank of the other side. A slow moving river that horses wouldn't even splash when they crossed.

So I felt foolish, but it was a nice, quiet, peaceful walk, when I wasn't afraid of tumbling to my death, or trying to catch my breath up a ridiculously steep hill, or trying to jump over a huge tree... it was nice to have some time just to talk and wander around with Devin. I really like that guy.


  1. I can't remember...when are you due?

    I hear ya about the hiking thing; just walking around downtown Denver tires me out. Put any hills in there and I'm toast.

  2. Aidan was born Jan 19th! Good month!

    I'm due December 12th. If he comes a little early, like his brother did, I wouldn't complain..

  3. aww I like that guy, too. ;) You guys are so cute!

    Bummer about the horses. That reminds me though, there are horses at a park near Mom and Dad. The least expensive thing was for kids to ride ponies in the corral for only $5. I thought of Hallie for that. They do have horses though for adults, too. I think it was $20 or $30.

    It sounds like you had fun, just slightly more difficult fun than you could have had.

    It's nice to have a hubby to lean on. :)

  4. Hiking can be very adventurous. I am not sure that sounds like a trail that I would want to ride a horse on however. I like nice wide, flat horseback riding trails. . . . .